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The Kurdish Question Then and Now

The political chaos that has recently dominated the scene in the Middle East is expressed, among other ways, by the violent resurgence of the Kurdish question. How can we analyze, in these new conditions, the scope of the claims of the Kurds—autonomy, independence, unity? And can we deduce from analysis that this claim must be supported by all democratic and progressive forces, in the region and in the world?… Debates on the subject produce great confusion. This is because most contemporary actors and observers rally around a non-historical vision of this and related issues.… I will offer a counterpoint to this transhistorical vision of social issues and “rights,” through which the social movements of the past and present express their demands. In particular, I will attribute paramount importance to the divide that separates the thriving of the modern capitalist world from past worlds. | more…

A Defining Moment: The Historical Legacy of the 1953 Iran Coup

Ervand Abrahamian, The Coup: 1953, the CIA, and the Roots of Modern U.S.-Iranian Relations (New York: New Press, 2012), 304 pages, $26.95, hardback.

The Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States began in earnest as soon as the Second World War ended, shaping most of the remainder of the twentieth century. The U.S. doctrine of “containment” required confronting the Soviets at every point of contact, accompanied by the claim that lasting peace could be reached only through the establishment of an international order based on national states which enjoyed a U.S.-defined political liberty and a capitalist economic order. The Soviets bolstered their security through providing support to countries seen as friendly and close to their borders. Therefore, maintaining influence in Iran was a goal of Soviet foreign policy in the Middle East. U.S. foreign policy was shaped by its own state interests and ideology and driven by the American postwar, worldwide systems of military bases.… It is this turbulent period of geopolitical maneuvering that Ervand Abrahamian’s The Coup revisits. Yet, unlike other books on the 1953 events in Iran, Abrahamian locates the U.S.-backed coup less in the Cold War ideological confrontation between East and West than in the conflicts which opposed imperialism and nationalism; between the center of world capitalism and the underdeveloped economies heavily dependent on exporting raw natural resources. | more…

Genocidal Cynicism (Part 2)

TO give some idea of the potential of the USSR in its efforts to maintain parity with the United States in this sphere, suffice it to note that when its disintegration came about in 1991, there were 81 nuclear warheads in Byelorussia, 1,400 in Kazakhstan, and approximately 5,000 in Ukraine, which were passed on to the Russian Federation, the only state capable of sustaining their immense cost in order to maintain its independence.

By virtue of the START and SORT treaties related to the reduction of offensive weapons between the two major nuclear powers, the number of those warheads was reduced to several thousand.

In 2010 a

What Would Einstein Say?

In a Reflection published on August 25, 2010 under the title of “The Opinion of an Expert”, I mentioned a really unusual activity of the United States and its allies which, in my opinion, underlines the risk of a nuclear conflict with Iran. I was referring to a long article by the well-known journalist Jeffrey Goldberg, published in the US journal The Atlantic in September of that year, entitled “The Point of No Return”.

Goldberg was not anti-Israeli, quite the opposite; he is an admirer of Israel and holds double citizenship with the US and also did his military service in that country. | more…

238 Reasons to be Worried, Part 2

June 21:

AFP: Brazil refused to go on mediating on the Iranian nuclear subject after the US and other powers rejected the agreement for exchange signed in May by Iran and Turkey, as declared this Monday by Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim to The Financial Times. | more…

238 Reasons to be Worried, Part 1

We are living in an exceptional moment of human history. Starting from a period in which it was divided into Ancient, Medieval, Modern and Contemporary History. Not the history we were studying in school 75 years ago but the history brilliantly described by Karl Marx as Pre-history. That would be the result of the incredible growth of productive forces, with contributions by science and technology, and its impact on the conscience and material life of our species. | more…

The Opinion of an Expert

If I were to be asked who best knows about Israeli thinking, I would answer that without question it is Jeffrey Goldberg. He is an indefatigable journalist, capable of having dozens of meetings to ascertain how some Israeli leader or intellectual may think.

He is not neutral, of course; he is pro-Israel, without question. When one of them does not agree with the policy of that country that too is not done halfway.

For my aim, it is important to know the thinking that guides the main political and military leaders of that State. | more…

The origin of wars

I affirmed on July 4 that neither the United States nor Iran would give in; “one, due to the pride of the powerful, and the other, out of resistance to the yoke and the capacity to fight, as has occurred so many times in the history of humanity…”

In almost all wars, one of the parties wishes to avoid them, and sometimes, both. On this occasion, it would come about even though one of the parties does not wish it, as happened in the two World Wars in 1914 and 1939, with only 25 years of distance before the first outbreak and the second. | more…

Impossible joy

I promised that I would be the “happiest man in the world if I was wrong” but, unfortunately, my happiness was short-lived.

The World Cup has still not ended. There are six days left to go before the final.

What an exceptional opportunity the yanki empire and the fascist state of Israel might miss for keeping the minds of the vast majority of the inhabitants of the planet off their basic problems! | more…

How I wish I was wrong

WHEN these lines are published tomorrow, Friday, in Granma newspaper, the 26th of July, a date on which we always recall with pride the honor of having resisted the onslaughts of the empire, will still be in the distance, despite it being only 32 days away.

Those who determine every step of the worst enemy of humanity – United States imperialism, a mixture of ignoble material interests, disdain and underestimation for other people inhabiting the planet – have calculated everything with mathematical precision.

In the Reflection of June 16 I wrote: “Diabolical news is filtering little by little between games and games in the World Cup, in a

The Empire and the War

Two days ago, I said in a few words that imperialism was unable to solve the extremely serious problem of drug abuse, which has become a scourge for the people all over the world. Today, I wish to deal with another issue that I consider of major significance.

The current danger that the United States attacks North Korea, following the recent incident in the territorial waters of the latter, could perhaps be thwarted if the President of the People’s Republic of China decides to exercise the right to veto—a prerogative that country totally dislikes—with respect to the agreements currently under discussion at the UN Security Council. | more…

Obama Has No Easy Task

I remember that, when I visited the People’s Republic of Poland, during Gierek’s government, I was taken to Osviecim, the most notorious of all concentration camps. There I learned about the horrible crimes committed by the Nazis against Jewish children, women and senior citizens, which resulted from the implementation of the ideas contained in the book Mein Kampf written by Adolph Hitler. Those ideas had been implemented before at the time when the territory of the USSR was invaded in the quest for ‘living space.’ By that time, the governments of London and Paris incited the Nazi chief against the Soviet State. | more…

April 2006 (Volume 57, Number 11)

Notes from the Editors

As we write this in late February, threats of a U.S. military intervention in Iran are intensifying in response to Washington’s claims that Iran is attempting to develop nuclear weapons capabilities. The International Atomic Energy Agency has voted to take the issue of what it views as Iran’s noncompliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Safeguards Agreement to the United Nations Security Council in early March. Meanwhile, the Bush administration has repeatedly stated that a military strike against Iran by the United States is now “on the table.” Washington’s waving of its big stick coupled with its feeding of misinformation to a U.S. media system that has not hesitated to pass these distortions on to the general public have already had their effect. A Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll taken in January indicated that “57% of Americans favor military intervention if Iran’s Islamic government pursues a program that could enable it to build nuclear arms” (Los Angeles Times, January 27, 2006). A few days later President Bush declared in his State of the Union address that “the Iranian government is defying the world with its nuclear ambitions, and the nations of the world must not permit the Iranian regime to gain nuclear weapons. America will continue to rally the world to confront these threats.” | more…